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What is community property for property division purposes?

Texas residents who are going through a divorce have probably heard that Texas is a community property state. Many people might have questions about what community property in divorce means. Getting answers to those questions is vital if you are going through a divorce.

Is all property community property in Texas?

Property that was acquired while the couple was married is considered community property, which means it is owned equally by both spouses. Property that was owned prior to the marriage might be considered separate property, which means it is owned by one spouse. Assertions about property being separate property must be proven by the spouse claiming the property.

Is income community property?

Income is considered community property in Texas. This includes revenues made from separate property if the revenue occurs during the marriage. The earnings of both spouses are also considered community property once the couple gets married.

Do both spouses have the right to manage community property?

Both spouses have equal rights to manage community property in most cases, but there are some exceptions. Each spouse can control their own income, including income from work, income from separate property and income from loss of earning capacity awards in personal injury settlements. Still, it is up to the spouses to work together regarding the management of community property until the divorce is finalized.

Property division during divorce can be difficult, especially for couples with assets, debts, community property and separate property. Determining what assets fall into which category can sometimes take considerable knowledge of the laws governing marital assets.

Source: Texas State Historical Association, "Community Property Law" Sep. 14, 2014

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